Six more weeks of what kind of winter?

The meddling groundhog up in Pennsylvania
The meddling groundhog up in Pennsylvania

The groundhog, we are told, saw his shadow up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Monday.

Six more weeks of winter.

But what kind of winter?  So far, the winter of 2014-15 is a mishmash of temperature and weather extremes.  The morning low was around 50 Monday and in the teens 24 hours laterr.

Highs in the low 40s today and the 50s Wednesday.  Possibility of a little snow Thursday and then back into the 50s by Saturday.

This is winter?  If so, what kind of winter?

Social media now gives us a glut of makeshift meteorologists who delight in issuing doom and gloom forecasts that are, more often than not, their own fantasies.  It is also amusing that many wish with glee for snow that cancels schools, clogs roads and causes problems.

Such is the nature of the beasts.

Over the last few days, high, gusting winds have been more of a factor than anything else.  The gusts downed lines and left some powerless in the area Monday.  No power problems reported early Tuesday.

Kevin Myatt at The Roanoke Times, who actually does understand how weather works, writes:

The situation Thursday for Southwest Virginia may come down to a late and somewhat fumbling handoff between the energy in the northern branch of the jet stream and a decently wet southern branch low-pressure system. Right now, most forecast guidance suggests any joining forces of these waves will occur off the East Coast, too late for even a medium-sized winter storm in our neck of the woods.

This, of course, is just the beginning of February and there’s still plenty of time for a major snowfall but the area suffered a heavy one last year and such storms seldom occur two years in a row in this region nowadays.

Among our motorcycle crowd, the talk is coming of the approach of good riding weather, Daytona Bike Week and fun in the sun.

For us, Bike Week loses the priority war with the Virginia high school basketball championships.  If a team we cover makes it to the state finals at the Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in March, we will be in Richmond, not Daytona.

Go Buffaloes.  Daytona can wait.

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